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Sabah gets Kalimantan energy invite

KOTA KINABALU: North Kalimantan Governor Dr H Iranto Lambrie has invited the State Government to work together in power generation infrastructure development in his province bordering Tawau.

He said Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) is presently doing a feasibility study to build a hydropower plant with generation capacity of 1,300 megawatts at Sungai Mentarang in the province.

SEB has a 50 per cent share in the project, which is being carried out in a joint venture with a Kalimantan-based company. I have also offered to Sabah through the Chief Minister,” he told a press conference in conjunction with the State-level socio-economic Malaysia-Indonesia (Sosek Malindo) Cooperation session at the Pacific Sutera Hotel, Tuesday.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who was present, said he would ask the State Secretary to look into how the State can work with North Kalimantan on the matter.

“We will look into the power generation development in North Kalimantan. They have bigger capacity in terms of coal supply. There are a lot of facilities there. We are also confronted with limitation of supply,” he said.

The State Government is in the process of taking over the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd from Federal’s Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).

“We need to study thoroughly the financial part of the take-over of the SESB proposal. I have asked for a special committee to be formed to study the financial arrangements (of the SESB takeover) because it involves huge amount of money.

“When that (the takeover) is realised then we will have a proper vehicle to talk about the power. I will look at all the available options later…even to Bakun (powerhydro) because there is excess supply to Lawas and Limbang.

“Currently, internally, we are also looking at how to have the West and East power grid linked. We have excess supply in the West of Sabah, but there is a shortage in the East. If we can link it up, in a short period of time, we will be able to resolve our power shortage problem…but that is not for the long-term period.

The Chief Minister said the State Government is still studying various aspects like the right locations and others for the implementation of the barter trade scheduled to start next month.

“We need to study thoroughly terms of the locations where to have it and other aspects, including specifications of ships and so on,” he said.

But he is confident the matter can be done smoothly with the cooperation of all those involved in the implementation of the barter trade.

“Rest assured, barter trade will benefit both the countries involved. It is not going to be just one sided,” he said. The matter was also raised during the Sosek Malindo technical committee meeting.

The majority of goods in sundry shops across North Kalimantan ranging from instant noodles to cooking oil and pampers are from Sabah, particularly Tawau, as it is too expensive to bring them in via Jakarta. – Larry Ralon

Source : http://www.dailyexpress.com.my